Shimla: Expressing concern over poor healthcare, mainly in the country's rural areas of the country, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday favoured its expansion to ensure equitable and quality services.
He said there was a huge shortfall of nurses and para-medical staff.
"In our country, the healthcare system faces a number of challenges. There is an urgent need to expand physical infrastructure in the health sector in order to ensure equitable and quality healthcare services to all," the president told graduate and postgraduate students of Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) here.
Nearly 75 percent of India's population resides in rural areas, he said. "Therefore, the doctors serving in rural areas are an important aspect, which needs to be looked into collectively by both the centre and state governments."
Underlying the need to prepare more nurses and para-medical staff, he said: "We require more nurses and para-medical staff to serve the huge population of our country."
Mukherjee advised the students to remember what the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi had said about being the change they wanted to see in the world.
He also reiterated what Gandhiji had said about thinking about the welfare of the weakest and poorest person in order to arrive at correct decisions.
Delivering the convocation address, Mukherjee told the students that while entering the new phase of life they should remember that the skill and knowledge they have acquired over the years will help them overcome future hurdles.
Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur were among the dignitaries present at the golden jubilee convocation.
Amongst those who received the gold medals were Ritu Rani, Meenakshi, who received five gold medals in her graduation, Neha Singh, Shipri Sharma and Tanvi Katoch.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh appealed to all the students to serve the suffering humanity with compassion, dedication and love without any monetary greed.
He said it was matter of pride for any institution to complete a long successful journey and celebrate its 50 years of its existence.
He said the IGMCH had produced 2,899 graduates and 1,337 postgraduates.